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Nigerian Football

ROHR TARGETS WORLD CUP SEMI-FINALS FOR SUPER EAGLES

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BOLAJI OKUNOLA.

Technical adviser of Nigeria’s Super Eagles, Gernot Rohr has lofty dreams.  He has promised to take the Super Eagles to a height never attained before in the World Cup by any African team.

Speaking in Bordeaux, France, where he is currently holidaying, he told leading French sports publication, L’Equipe that he will take the Super Eagles to the semi-finals of Russia 2018 World Cup.

Sports Village Square recalls that only three African teams ever got to the quarter finals of the World Cup. These are Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002 and Ghana 2010.

He told the French publication that since the Super Eagles have advanced from the group stage before into the Round of 16, the time has come for the team to scale new heights. Specifically he remarked “They (Super Eagles) have already come out of the group stage to go to the round of 16 in the past, especially in 2014 when they faced the French team (losing 0-2).

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“We will try to do as well. Unfortunately, here, the ambitions are a little more excessive: the team must go at least until the semi-finals.

“We have the ambition of the leaders to manage, even if I get along very well with the president (Amaju Pinnick), who came to get me. There are many people at the Federation (NFF). As in all African countries, it’s never easy. But for now, it’s going very well”.

The Super Eagles opponents at the Russia 2018 World Cup will be revealed at the final draw holding in Moscow on December 1.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Nigerian Football

Remo Stars add fuel to the fire as title chase turns East – West battle

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Added time-goal specialists, Remo Stars pulled off one of their now familiar traits, chalking up a valuable point as Skipper Nduka Junior scored in the 90+4 minute to scuttle an impending victory by Doma United on Wednesday evening.

When all-hope seemed over, Remo Stars had scored hope-reviving goals as they did against Lobi Stars, Insurance and a host of others in the Nigeria Premier League.

Getting a valuable point take them from fifth position to fourth their haul to 50, just a point below that of second and third placed Enyimba and Lobi Stars respectively.

The 1-1 scoreline also changed the complexion of the league table as their South West rivals were pushed down from their initial fourth position.

As it is, the struggle for the title is taking regional colouration as the top two- Enugu Rangers and Enyimba are from the South East while fourth and fifth – Remo Stars and Shooting Stars are from the South West.

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Lobi Stars from the middle belt, stand in-between the South East and South West in the power struggle.

 Remo Stars at the fourth position however still have an outstanding home game against Rivers United and that could still change the positions of the top six teams when the match is played.

Attention will now shift to match-day 31 as the league embarks on its home stretch.

 On Friday, relegation-bound Heartland will be hosting rejuvenated Shooting Stars who have suddenly discovered they could return to continental competition next seasons after 25 years.

They have lately been having unbeaten runs. On Saturday, Kwara United will host desperate Akwa United who are struggling to avoid dropping into the lower league.

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On the same day, Abia Warriors will be at home against Bayelsa United.

  On Sunday seven matches are on the card. They are:

Kano Pillars v. Gombe United

Katsina United v. Sporting Lagos

Lobi Stars v. Bendel Insurance

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Niger Tornadoes v Doma United

Plateau United v. Remo Stars

Rivers United v. Enugu Rangers

Sunshine Stars v. Enyimba

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Rangers tenaciously hold on at Nigeria League top position

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Enugu Rangers are holding on firmly at the top of the Nigeria Premier League after getting a hard 3-2 victory over visiting Abia Warriors.

The win consolidated their top position as the 2016 Nigerian champions now have 54 points, three points ahead their oriental brothers, Enyimba who are currently second on the log.

But the keen battle this season sees Lobi Stars who lost 2-0 to a rejuvenated Shooting Stars in Ibadan.

 The victory has seen the Shooting Stars climbing up steadily and now placing fourth on the log. But their fellow western rivals may bounce back into reckoning and could leapfrog into second position if they obtain full points in their away duel on Wednesday with Doma United.

Just as the battle at the top is tough, so also it is at the backwaters. Probably Gombe United are the first confirmed for relegation. Heartland, Akwa United, Rivers United and borderline candidate, Sunshine Stars are in fierce battle.

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Rivers United however still have six outstanding matches and could still leapfrog into safety zone. But Akwa United continued to their struggle to swim out of the relegation zone as they hammered Niger Tornadoes 4-1.

Tuesday results

Shooting Stars 2-0 Lobi Stars

Sporting Lagos 1-0 Sunshine Stars

Rivers United 3-1 Plateau United

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Gombe United 1-2 Kwara United

Enyimba 1-0 Heartland

Enugu Rangers 3-2 Abia Warriors

Bendel Insurance 2-1 Kano Pillars

Bayelsa United 1-1 Katsina United

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Akwa United 4-1 Niger United

Wednesday Fixture

Doma United v Remo Stars

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Manu Garba, U17 World Cup winner, returns as Golden Eaglets’ Head Coach

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The Board of Nigeria Football Federation has appointed former U17 World Cup winner Manu Garba as Head Coach of the Nigeria U17 boys, Golden Eaglets.

Garba had, in the same role, led the Golden Eaglets to win the FIFA U17 World Cup for Nigeria in the United Arab Emirates in 2013 – Nigeria’s fourth triumph at that stage.

Garba’s world-conquering squad in 2013 included Kelechi Iheanacho, Taiwo Awoniyi, Isaac Success, Musa Mohammed, Chidiebere Nwakali and goalkeeper Dele Alampasu.

The squad, which finished as runners-up at the African U17 Championship in Morocco after a penalty shootout defeat by Cote d’Ivoire, defeated Mexico 6-1 in their opening game, drew 3-3 with Sweden and hammered Iraq 5-0. In the Round of 16, they ran Iran ragged 4-1, dispatched Uruguay 2-0 in the quarter-finals and trounced Sweden 3-0 in the semi-finals, before they dislodged Mexico by the same margin in the final to lift the trophy.

The former Nigeria international will now immediately resume the role and take charge of the team’s preparations for next month’s WAFU B U17 Championship, taking place in Ghana.

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